Alfred Hugh RAYMENT
Rank: Private
Number: 235360
Unit: 16th Battalion ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 30 August 1918
Age: 20
Cemetery: Combles Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France

Alfred was the eldest child of Robert and Clara (nee Turner). The couple had married at Christ Church, Heaton Norris in 1897 and Alfred was born the following year. The 1901 Census shows he had a younger sister, Susan, born in 1900. The family was living at 10 Thomas Street, Stockport later moving to 275 Heaton Lane.

When he left school, Alfred went to work for the Gorsey Bank Doubling Company at its mill on Stockport Road, Cheadle Heath. He's included on the Company's entry in the Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour. Just after War was declared in August 1914, Alfred joined up, enlisting into the local 6th (Territorial) Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment and was given 2771 as his service number. Of course, he was too young for overseas service and it was at least the beginning of 1917 before he went abroad. His medal entitlement records at the National Archives show that he went overseas with the 6th Battalion and, by then, had a new service number - 265879. It is very possible that he never actually fought with the Battalion and was probably transferred to the Fusiliers on arrival in France as they will have been in greater need of fresh troops.

The British Army had been on the attack since the beginning of August 1918 and had made great progress. There had been much hard fighting but the Germans were now pulling back. The advances continued daily with first one Division attacking, then another taking up the assault the next day. The Fusiliers were part of this advance through the area that had seen such hard fighting in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. It was anticipated that the Germans would again withdraw during the hours of darkness over 29/30 August. However, as the Fusiliers moved forward again, on the morning of the 30th, their advance was checked near the village of Morval by well entrenched German infantry who opened fire on them. Alfred became one of the casualties.

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